Finally, the last word on Election 2016 is near
In case you have not heard enough about the Presidential Election being held on Nov. 8, here is some additional information regarding what to expect on your ballot on election day.
• Judicial Ballot Question. If you thought that the only choice was between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, you would be wrong. Aside from candidates for federal and state offices which will be discussed later, there is a ballot referendum you might miss. At the end of your ballot will be a question that was pulled from an earlier election due to phrasing and is still confusing to many even with its new reincarnation. It is a question as to how long judges should serve.
The statement is “Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to require that justices of the Supreme Court, judges, and magisterial district judges be retired on the last day of the calendar year in which they attain the age of 75 years?” The question could use some clarification. What it fails to state is that current retirement age is the “last day of the calendar year in which (the indicated parties) attain the age of 70 years.”
In other words the ballot question raises the retirement age from 70 to 75. There is no obvious answer to this question and it is a matter of opinion. Judges currently who retire at age 70 may still stay on and several do stay on as Senior Judges
beyond the age of 70 but at different compensation rates. The question is, in light of our greater longevity, should the regular retirement age be allowed to be raised.
• Federal Positions. By now, likely the vast majority of the electorate has already decided their individual choices for President – Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump – and Vice President – Tim Kaine or Mike Pence. I say this knowing I am at risk of failing to address the Constitution Party, Green Party and Libertarian Party candidates but recognizing as
is frequently pointed out it is unlikely that members of these parties would be successful although they represent competing other points of view.
Moving down the ballot, on the federal side, Katie McGinty (D) is challenging Pat Toomey (R) for U.S. Senator. McGinty has served in the Wolf administration and is receiving strong support from Clinton supporters. Toomey is the incumbent and receiving strong support from the GOP.
Mike Parrish is running against Ryan Costello, a former County Commissioner, in the 6th U.S. Congressional District, which includes West Chester and most of the eastern portion of the county.
Chester County also includes the 16th Congressional District in its southern and some of its central areas and the oddly shaped 7th Congressional District (nicknamed the “Bullwinkle J. Moose” district for its shape like Bullwinkle the Moose from “Rocky the Flying Squirrel” – you have to be old enough to get the allusion) which includes parts of Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks and Lancaster Counties.
The race for the 16th is Lloyd Smucker (R) versus Christina Hartman (D). The race for the 7th is Patrick Meehan (R) versus Mary Ellen Balchunis (D).
• State Offices. Statewide offices in contention are Attorney General, Auditor General, and State Treasurer. Both Josh Shapiro, the Democratic candidate for Attorney General and John Rafferty, the Republican candidate, have promised to return respectability and dignity to the Attorney General’s office that everyone would agree was seriously tarnished during the Kathleen Kane period in this office. From the perspective of elder law, Shapiro has promised in his announcements also to pay close attention to elder abuse and seniors which is a hopeful sign since consumer protection for elders has not been indicated as a priority for this office for some time now.
Auditor General is Eugene A. DePasquale versus John Brown. State Treasurer
is Joe Torsella versus Otto Voit.
State Senator. Andy Dinniman has been the incumbent State Senator for some time now in Chester County’s 19th District. Before becoming State Senator he served as Chester County Commissioner. He is opposed by Jack London. Other Chester County Other Chester County Senatorial Districts are the 9th, 26th and 44th.
State Representatives. There are so many races affecting Chester County representation in the General Assembly that reference would have to be made to the county website at www.chesco.org. Check out Voter Services. There are Sample Ballots for your district that are
easy to find.
Janet Colliton, Colliton Elder Law Associates, PC, limits her practice to elder law, life care and special needs planning, Medicaid, estate planning and administration and guardianships and is located at 790 East Market St., Suite 250, West Chester, PA 19382, 610-436-6674, firstname.lastname@example.org. She is also, with Jeffrey Jones, CSA, co-founder of Life Transition Services LLC, a service for families with long-term care needs. Listen in to radio WCHE 1520 “50+ Planning Ahead” with Phil McFadden, Home Instead Senior Care, and Janet Colliton, Colliton Elder Law Associates, on Wednesdays at 4 p.m.